Rural grocery stores are an anchor business in rural communities. They are a primary source of local jobs and represent a significant source of local sales tax. Rural grocery stores serve as community gathering spaces, building bonds of local community, and attracting and retaining residents. Rural grocery stores also offer more healthy food, at lower cost, than rural discount retailers.
The loss of a rural grocery store threatens the health of local citizens and the very existence of rural communities. Unfortunately, since 2008, 105 grocery stores in rural Kansas have closed their doors and in 50% of those communities a new store has not re-opened.
In 2007, K-State’s Center for Engagement and Community Development launched the Rural Grocery Initiative (RGI) whose mission is to provide resources to help establish and sustain independently-owned rural grocery stores. RGI works to serve as the national source of evidence-based information for rural grocery questions, identify and respond to the significant challenges that rural grocery stores face, highlight and promote sustainable models of rural grocery operation, and strengthen access to healthy foods.
To advance RGI goals, we are proud to announce that on June 8-9, 2020, we will host the Seventh National Rural Grocery Summit at the Hilton Garden Inn in Manhattan, Kansas. At this biennial summit we will bring together store owners, citizen leaders, food suppliers, academic researchers, healthy food access stakeholders, policy makers, and funders to talk with one another about how best to sustain this critical small business and improve rural access to healthy foods.
Over 200 participants attended our last rural grocery summit and we are expecting a larger meeting this year. We are writing to invite you and/or your organization to consider sponsoring the Seventh National Rural Grocery Summit. For questions, please call 785-532-6868 or email us at email@example.com
For questions, please call 785-532-6868 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you can join us on June 8-9, 2020 in Manhattan, Kansas as we work to strengthen rural grocery stores that are the cornerstones of our rural communities.